Alterian set to accept raised takeover offer

November 10, 2011

Alterian, the Bristol-based marketing software company, indicated today that it will probably accept an improved indicative takeover offer of £68.4m from Maidenhead-based SDL, one of the world’s top three providers of language services, software development and global information management services. 

SDL's new bid is pitched at 110p a share compared with its initial 80p offer, worth £50m, in October. At that stage, Alterian’s pre-offer share price had lost more than two thirds of its value since April and was well below the 217p level at which the shares traded last year. 

Alterian, which recorded a £4.26m pre-tax loss in April, said the initial offer seriously undervalued its prospects.  It has undergone a major boardroom clearout and new chief executive Heath Davies is currently executing a business transformation plan. 
But today Alterian said it considered the revised offer of 110p a share "to be at a level which it is now prepared to engage with SDL" with a view to recommending it on the basis of an all cash deal.
Alterian warned, however, that there was no guarantee of success. It said in a statement to the Stock Exchange that "the discussions with SDL are at an early stage and the making of any offer is subject to the satisfaction (or waiver by SDL) of certain pre-conditions including the completion of due diligence by SDL."
Due to his involvement with SDL, Alastair Gordon, a non-executive director of the company, has had no part in discussions about the revised proposal. In light of this, the board is considering the appointment of an additional independent non-executive director in the near future.
SDL is required to make a firm offer not later than 5pm on November 21. A further announcement will be made in due course. In the meantime, Alterian will  announce next Wednesday its interim results for the six months ended September 30.

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